POLITICS

Mike Coffman Apologizes For Claiming Obama Is 'Just Not An American'

05/17/2012 08:24 am ET | Updated May 17, 2012

Mike Coffman, a Republican congressman from Colorado, issued an apology on Wednesday after a recording of comments he made about President Obama's origins aired on a Denver news station.

According to KUSA-TV, the NBC affiliate that obtained the audio of Coffman's comments, the congressman made his initial remarks at a fundraiser on May 12.

"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that," Coffman said. "But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."

Coffman released a statement Wednesday backing away from his comments.

"I misspoke and I apologize,” Coffman said in the statement. "I have confidence in President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy as President of the United States."

He also clarified the intent of his comments: "I don’t believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism. His policies reflect a philosophy that America is but one nation among many equals."

The GOP congressman will seek a third term representing Colorado's 6th District this fall. Due to redistricting in the state, Coffman is expected to have a tough time holding on to his seat in his now largely Democratic district.

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